California Exposition

at , Sacramento, 95815 United States

California Exposition

Sacramento , CA 95815
United States
Contact Phone
P: (916) 263-3000


The California Exposition and State Fair is an independent state agency established by law in California Food and Agriculture codes. Cal Expo is governed by an appointed 11-member Board of Directors and daily operations are managed by the chief executive officer . During the annual State Fair more than 2,000 seasonal temporary employees are hired. The California Exposition is a self-sufficient operation that receives no government funding but still has an estimated economic impact of more than $250 million on the region.HistoryThe California legislature created the State Agricultural Society to promote California's reputation for farming and industry. An agricultural exposition was organized and held in San Francisco in 1854, and California Historic Landmark #861 marks the site. Given that travel was difficult in that era, the next several annual expositions were moved around the state, to Sacramento, San Jose, Stockton, and Marysville.In 1859 the exposition returned to Sacramento, and it was decided that a permanent site should be found. Capitol Park, a six block site bounded by E, H, 20th and 22nd Streets was purchased and was home to the state fair for the next fifty years.Growth in population and attendance forced the purchase of 80acre just outside the city limits on Stockton Boulevard, and the first fair was held there in 1909. Continued growth caused that site to be expanded by 75acre in 1937. During and after World War II, from 1942 to 1947, the Fair was suspended and the fairgrounds were occupied by the Army. During its formative years(1929-1942?), the California Highway Patrol used some of the State Fair facilities as an unofficial "training academy", later using other state-owned areas in the Sacramento area for training use until the current CHP Academy was opened in 1976.

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